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Bernalillo County – Spring rains and rising temperatures have hastened the arrival of mosquito season for the middle Rio Grande valley. Citizens should take precautions now to protect themselves from mosquitoes and West Nile virus.
The peak mosquito season in this region will run now through September, according to Bernalillo County and City of Albuquerque Health Officials.
West Nile virus, carried by infected mosquitoes, can cause disease in people, birds, horses and other animals. Citizens are urged to vaccinate their horses immediately.
Bernalillo County residents can report standing or stagnant water or request mosquito spraying for their neighborhood by calling 311 for response from the City of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Vector Control Program.
Detailed information about this issue can be accessed online via the New Mexico Department of Health here: http://nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/zdp/wnv/.
Additional information from the Albuquerque Urban Biology Division can be viewed at http://www.cabq.gov/environmentalhealth/urban-biology/pest-management/mosquito-control/west-nile-virus.
To protect against West Nile:
Use insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 for use on skin, and permethrin for use on clothing. Always follow label directions when using insect repellents.
When weather permits, wear protective clothing such as loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.
The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing or avoid outdoor activities during these times.
Eliminate water-holding containers where mosquitoes lay their eggs, such as empty buckets, flower pots and old tires. Regularly change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet water bowls. Make sure rain barrels are tightly screened.
Keep windows and doors closed if not screened. When leaving your home’s doors or windows open, make sure they have screens that fit tightly and have no holes.
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